‘No substantive progress’ in talks as CN Rail workers strike enters fourth day

MONTREAL — The strike at the country’s biggest railway has entered its fourth day with no resolution in sight as round-the-clock negotiations continue under the watch of federal mediators.

The Teamsters union says that “no substantive progress has been made” since 3,200 workers hit the picket lines early Tuesday morning.

The union claims Quebec’s propane shortage “appears to be largely manufactured” by Canadian National Railway Co. amid rising pressure from industry and Prairie premiers to reconvene Parliament ahead of schedule and pass back-to-work legislation.

Premier Francois Legault said yesterday the province is days away from running out of propane, which heats hospitals and nursing homes and fuels operations in agriculture and mining.

The Teamsters Canada Rail Conference says CN’s decision to transport freight other than propane using employees who remain on the job “is a business decision.”

CN Rail is rejecting the union’s claim that the strike concerns workplace health and safety, suggesting instead that it revolves around worker compensation.

CN says it has offered to enter into binding arbitration, with a neutral arbitrator chosen by the parties or appointed by the federal government.

(Canadian Press)

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